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Azerbaijan’s independence anniversary goes almost unnoticed

28 years ago Azerbaijan left the Soviet Union

Azerbaijan marks the 28th anniversary of independence today: on October 18, 1991, the republic officially left the USSR and became independent.  

Though a public holiday, October 18 in the country is a normal working day.  No festive events were held today, and many in the country learned about the holiday only from media and social networks.

As young as Armenian independence itself

Adopting the law on state independence in 1991, the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan stated that the country regained its independence and considered itself the successor of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR), which lasted from 1918 to 1920.

Azerbaijan was the sixth country to leave the USSR. Earlier, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Georgia and Armenia had already done so.

Turkey recognized Azerbaijan, followed by other states, and in March 1992, Azerbaijan became a member of the UN.

Also in 1992, Independence Day was declared a nationwide holiday and a day off.  But in 2006, the parliament redid the labour code, and on October 18 it was stripped of its bank holiday status.

May 28 is much more famous – Republic Day, when the ADR was proclaimed in 1918.  Some even mistakenly believe that this is Independence Day.

Holiday traditions

The fact that today is a special day on the streets of Baku is indicated only by small flags attached to buses.

First Lady and First Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva posted a congratulatory post on her official Instagram page.

The media talked about the history of the day, and there were also congratulations from several foreign ambassadors.

On social media, Azerbaijani users were outraged by the ‘everyday-ness’ of the holiday.

 And that is all.

 They say, true, on October 20 there will be a free gala concert in the open air.

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